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When you think of your next tech job, does “Digital Marketer” come to mind? It should; a solid understanding of marketing, combined with analytical and a few tech skills, can lead to a fulfilling, evolving career. By 2021, US companies are expected to spend $129 billion on Digital Marketing investments. With the increase in marketing buys over the last few years, experts have forecasted that digital will eventually account for 50% of total advertising spend. So what is digital marketing, and exactly what skills do you need to be successful?
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital Marketing refers to a company’s online branding assets – it’s an umbrella term for all marketing done online. While you may think of marketing as print ads, commercials, direct mail, or telemarketing, expect digital marketing to soon overtake these traditional methods and impact how we consume ads.
The opportunities are nearly endless for digital marketers. Many types of companies require these skills – job positions are not limited to the tech industry! Many marketers work in advertising agencies, but every company, in pretty much any industry, has the potential to need a digital marketer to promote their product or services online. Digital marketers work with email, social media, video, and SEO to promote brands across the digital sphere.
What does the Digital Marketing landscape look like? Well, Digital Marketing is expected to see exponential growth over the next few years. An eMarketer report forecasts spend on digital to increase from $83 billion in 2017 to $129 billion in 2021. The report found that digital advertising made up 36.7% of companies’ total marketing budgets in 2016, and in 2021, digital is expected to account for 49.9% of total spending. And get this – out of the digital spending for 2017, 70% of that was estimated to be from mobile advertising. The report posits that this increase in mobile ads is due to the overwhelming love for social media, which has essentially changed the way we consume content and advertising.
The most popular digital advertising formats are display ads followed by search. Display advertising includes rich media like social ads on mobile apps like Instagram, and video.
According to Glassdoor, US digital marketing salaries range from $43,000 to $86,000 with an average salary of $67,230. For Advertising Managers, Promotions Managers, and Marketing Managers, the salary potential is even higher with the average being $127,560 per year according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There are a lot of areas that Digital Marketers can specialize in. But if you want to be an all-around marketer, these are some of the technical tools and concepts that marketers need to know about:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Pay Per Click (PPC)
- Social Media Advertising (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Hootsuite, Buffer)
- Email Marketing (Hubspot, Mailchimp, Customer.io, Constant Contact)
- Display Advertising
- Cross-Channel Advertising
- Demand Side Platforms (DSP)
What soft skills will you need as a digital marketer? It’s important to understand that your job will be to get messaging across to consumers and stakeholders. Marketing is a creative science; the goal is to get the public to trust and believe in your product. The best digital marketer is creative but also cares enough about the analytics and the data behind that creative. I’ve seen a lot of people who are super creative, but they just don’t pay attention to the numbers or care about the results. Others are super analytical, but they don’t have any good ideas on ad copy. To be successful, especially at the strategic level, you’ve got to have a combination of creative and analytical skills. If you want to be successful, you need to combine your tech knowledge with these soft skills: